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1992 400SE
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Discussion Starter #1
This may seem like sacrilege to some but I've been thinking about doing this for sometime.

I love my 400SE but the one big issue I have is what do I replace it with at some point in the future?
A newer S Class seems to be the obvious choice but... Imagine an absolutely silent W140 with a 600 kilometre range between charges!

The idea of converting a W140 to full electric intrigues me. The car has plenty of room for batteries and the second hand Tesla parts are becoming commonly available.
I've got a background in computers and electronics so I'd be doing the work myself.

But to do a full conversion it would cost about $25,000 AUD (Using Tesla motors and batteries with an after-market controllers and monitoring equipment)

What do you think?

I saw a video of an Audi that was converted to full electric using Tesla batteries and motors.
Here's a screen grab...
 

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1995 Mercedes S420, 1995 SL320, 2000 Land Rover Discovery II, 1985 Lotus Turbo Esprit
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I mean, the most reliable part of these cars is the engine itself. It's all the ancillaries that require persistent maintenance, so replacing the engine probably wouldn't save many long-term headaches in that regard (unless your engine is already worn out).

And I imagine it would cost significantly more than $25k AUD to get the job done right, so I don't think there's going to be much financial savings either, unless gas prices double/triple from where they are now (entirely possible).

I also have no idea how you'd integrate Tesla electronics into a thirty year old Mercedes platform, but again I imagine that's a problem to be solved with money.

This just seems like a tremendous amount of work. I think it would be extremely interesting if done right but I feel like it's just going to be hugely expensive to do it the right way.
 

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1992 400SE
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Discussion Starter #6
Thom, It's only money and I'd rather do this than buy a "new" car with all the drawbacks.

The main Tesla parts I'd use are the motors, drive and the batteries (easily obtainable second hand).
All the controllers, charge computers etc would be after market/non Tesla. You can get regen working with and after market controller.
Air-conditioning/Heating, power steering would be modified Tesla.

And it goes without saying I would buy a tired W140 that's near the end of its life. I certainly wouldn't do this to a good car.

https://electrek.co/2018/10/31/1949-mercury-coupe-ev-conversion-tesla-powertrain/
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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This may seem like sacrilege to some but I've been thinking about doing this for sometime.

I love my 400SE but the one big issue I have is what do I replace it with at some point in the future?
A newer S Class seems to be the obvious choice but... Imagine an absolutely silent W140 with a 600 kilometre range between charges!

The idea of converting a W140 to full electric intrigues me. The car has plenty of room for batteries and the second hand Tesla parts are becoming commonly available.
I've got a background in computers and electronics so I'd be doing the work myself.

But to do a full conversion it would cost about $25,000 AUD (Using Tesla motors and batteries with an after-market controllers and monitoring equipment)

What do you think?

I saw a video of an Audi that was converted to full electric using Tesla batteries and motors.
Here's a screen grab...
I wondered who was going to want to do this :nerd .

I was not about to turn-off everyone here ( Just like forcing you to here the music I like ) . I researched this about six years ago, but I did stay on top of this as I'm electronics guy buy trade. I tinker with everything even if it is not economically practical, but it is for my practical satisfaction. I will spend days weeks or months trying to figure things out-That is things get created or fixed- It was how I figured out to stuff our old 722.6's with new 722.6 internals-It is how I fixed my P0455 " Gas Cap Code".

I did figure out when these "Teslas" were under $10,000 USD, but then our buddy Rich-Rebuilds on YouTube let the whole world know how to rebuild a crashed for "Small Money". Well, those days are gone as these Model S Teslas are fetching $30k/$40k/$50k and the prime customers are Eastern European.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfV0_wbjG8KJADuZT2ct4SA

And in the USA their is some serious fraud with these Teslas from the two largest crash car brokers which is Copart and IAAI.

https://www.iaai.com/Search?filter=RFB

https://www.copart.com/

https://erepairables.com/

Read about the fraud :



The skinny with real auto crash auctions :




Good guy info :nerd

https://autoastat.com/

https://autoauctions.io/

My take to make any conversion it would be to use as much Tesla components as it is just smart money :nerd

The EVTV guys had figured out to decode the CAN bus signals to drive the motor controller, and Damien Maguire out of the UK decoded the Tesla charger, so no need to buy extra stuff.

EVTV Motor Verks - Custom Electric Car Conversion Instructional Videos

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8sR7IAMOHKV-S_oz3JH3qw

The EVTV guys have piles of videos, and they have a two-week starter DIY class on how to make a conversion.

No need to get fancy with custom built stuff

I would find a way to use the entire rear sub frame from a Tesla, but one has to reverse engineer the dimensions of the W140 and Tesla, and model-it with Autodesk Fusion or similar software. You can get a two year trial with all the capabilities :

https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview#banner

Training from this guy is excellent:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo29kn3d9ziFUZGZ50VKvWA

This can be done a smart way.

I'm not ready to try it yet, but I want to try it with a R129 as it is a smaller lighter car, yet has the weight carrying capacity identical to a W140 as both carry the identical engines all the way up to a M120. I would use Chevy Volt batteries as they are more safe than Testla cells, and more available without that high price because if I had to buy the individual parts, but I rather buy the whole crashed car...

Anyways, lots of info and video on this stuff. I spent months...

I'm taking little steps to get there. I'm going to learn to weld next fall to learn 3G/4G/Aluminum too.

I want to do it before I'm put horizontal in the box in the ground :grin :nerd

Hope it helps,

Martin
 

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96 E320
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Why am I not surprised? :frown
Well, the electric cars are not paying the built-in tax in gasoline. It would make more sense to just have all drivers pay the "road tax" by buying a window sticker from the gas station or convienience store. At least that's how most european countries do it. Just move the tax from the fuels to the sticker.

As far as converting an older car to electric, I think its a great idea. Just also agree that its too expensive to be practical, unfortunately. This is an untapped market that vendors like Tesla could get into if they wanted. This reminds me of on old episide of Wheeler Dealers and the electric Maserati Biturbo:
 

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1994 S600 Coupe, 1995 S600 Coupe
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Anybody interested in electric converting ANY car, I suggest watching the video below. Rich knows a lot about Tesla's and conversions, and he provides realism to this discussion.
 

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This may seem like sacrilege to some but I've been thinking about doing this for sometime.

I love my 400SE but the one big issue I have is what do I replace it with at some point in the future?
A newer S Class seems to be the obvious choice but... Imagine an absolutely silent W140 with a 600 kilometre range between charges!

The idea of converting a W140 to full electric intrigues me. The car has plenty of room for batteries and the second hand Tesla parts are becoming commonly available.
I've got a background in computers and electronics so I'd be doing the work myself.

But to do a full conversion it would cost about $25,000 AUD (Using Tesla motors and batteries with an after-market controllers and monitoring equipment)

What do you think?

I saw a video of an Audi that was converted to full electric using Tesla batteries and motors.
Here's a screen grab...
I have a 1995 s500 and I too am considering the conversion. I rather convert the car now than never. Keep me posted.
 

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1994 S600 Coupe, 1995 S600 Coupe
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Any Tesla you would get parts from has now been blacklisted by them so that supercharging is no longer available. Look for recent Rich Rebuilds YouTube videos for info. He started the whole rebuilding salvage Tesla's movement, and he's considering getting out of them for just that reason. Non- supercharging charging is extremely slow, so using the car for trips is a non-starter. You are left with an around town car only.
The W140 is very heavy. Electrification would likely make this worse, not better. Expect miserable range.
You also have all the ancillary systems to consider, heat, air conditioning, braking, power steering, SLS/ADS, etc, a lot of which are very integrated with other systems. All consume power, and the Tesla systems for each of those is vastly different.
How many motors will you use? Where will they be located? You going to retaining rear wheel drive? How are you going to transfer power?
Add up all the the costs, engineering, and labor involved, lack of range, unique systems that no one but you or whoever does the mod will be able to work on, and this quickly becomes a non-starter. If you want an electric car, buy one that's been designed from the ground up to be one. You'll be money, time, and aggravation ahead.

Jon
 

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3phase-4pole
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The unlimited supercharger isn’t all that. Just depends on what you use the EV for.
After a few months I realized it wasn’t worth the added planning to charge it for free. I ended up getting their high power wall charger. Its a daily driver anyway. For long trips I bring one of my regular cars or get a rental.
 

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1995 Mercedes S420, 1995 SL320, 2000 Land Rover Discovery II, 1985 Lotus Turbo Esprit
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I agree 100% with Jal on this.

This is a fools errand. Unless you have a big monetized YouTube channel and want to do it as a project/stunt for your viewers and can actually make money off it regardless of whether it works or not, there is no good reason to attempt something like this.

At BEST you'll have spent a fortune on a car half as functional and capable as it was to begin with, and at worst you'll have dropped money on a basket case that'll never work correctly anyway. And either way you'll have hacked up an increasingly rare classic car that's appreciating in value.

You basically have to invent an entirely new drivetrain and means for running all the ancillaries (good luck) THEN figure out how to fabricate it all from scratch. Then hope it all works reliably enough to be usable, with enough range to get you further than the local grocery store. None of this is easy, nor cheap, nor necessary.

If you want an electric car, by all means go out and buy one. I drove a Tesla a few months ago and it was damn cool.

Just appreciate the W140 for what it is. Stuffing it full of batteries and electric motors isn't going to solve anything, or make the world a better place, or even save you money on fuel.
 

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I agree 100% with Jal on this.

This is a fools errand. Unless you have a big monetized YouTube channel and want to do it as a project/stunt for your viewers and can actually make money off it regardless of whether it works or not, there is no good reason to attempt something like this.

At BEST you'll have spent a fortune on a car half as functional and capable as it was to begin with, and at worst you'll have dropped money on a basket case that'll never work correctly anyway. And either way you'll have hacked up an increasingly rare classic car that's appreciating in value.

You basically have to invent an entirely new drivetrain and means for running all the ancillaries (good luck) THEN figure out how to fabricate it all from scratch. Then hope it all works reliably enough to be usable, with enough range to get you further than the local grocery store. None of this is easy, nor cheap, nor necessary.

If you want an electric car, by all means go out and buy one. I drove a Tesla a few months ago and it was damn cool.

Just appreciate the W140 for what it is. Stuffing it full of batteries and electric motors isn't going to solve anything, or make the world a better place, or even save you money on fuel.
I thank God that inventors (even Musk) followed their passion and did not listen to those who say it was impossible. It was impossible to fly, it was impossible to go to the moon, it was imposible to have a horseless carriage, it was impossible to clone living things, and so on...
 

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Nobody said it was impossible. It just doesn't make economic or engineering sense in this case if you want to end up with a practical car in the end.

Jon
 
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